The Greek Cypriot side and the Turkish Cypriot side are keeping each other informed through the Bicommunal Committee for Health after two cases of West Nile Virus were confirmed in the government-controlled areas and another six in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus, Public Health Service General Director Alvertos Karis said on Tuesday.

He also said that UNFICYP is contributing to getting rid of mosquitoes within the buffer zone.

Karis was speaking after a two – hour meeting that took place at the Health Ministry with the participation of Nicosia municipalities to take stock of the situation and examine additional measures.

He said that two older people have been diagnosed so far with the West Nile virus in the government-controlled areas. Both of them are being hospitalized at the Nicosia General Hospital, one of them in critical condition.

He noted that the two cases were located in Strovolos and in Pallouriotissa, in a relatively long distance from one another and there is no connection between them.

Karis added that the virus is only spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito and that is particularly dangerous for older people and those with a weak immune system.

Public Health Service General Director said that the meeting decided to investigate the cases at local level, that is to conduct an environmental check, an epidemiological study and find out, if possible, what caused them.

“The municipalities will carry out a targeted check followed by a cleanup of allotments and fields, unoccupied houses, abandoned pools, fountains and other mosquito breeding sites”, he added.

They also decided to raise the public’s awareness on measures to protect themselves and get rid of insects in their homes.

The meeting was attended by the heads of the health services of the municipalities of Nicosia, Strovolos, Lakatamia, Ayios Dometios, Engomi, Aglantzia and Latsia.

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